For me, writing is a way of thinking. I write in a journal a lot. I’m a very impatient person, so writing and meditation allow me to slow down and watch my mind; they are containers that keep me in place, hold me still - Ruth Ozeki
Journaling can help people living with anxiety disorders. The positive outcomes are well-documented for this purpose. In fact, compared to many other aims when journaling, it is extremely well-suited to helping you deal with anxiety.
Why is it so beneficial for anxiety?
According to psychologist Barbara Markway, there’s simply no better way to learn about your thought processes than to write them down.
She notes that to address problematic thought patterns, we first have to actually know what they are! Journaling is instrumental in helping us identify the negative automatic self-talk and get to the root of Anxiety.
Writing in a journal can positively impact anxiety through:
1. Calming and clearing the mind;
2. Releasing pent-up feelings and everyday stress;
3. Letting go of negative thoughts;
4. Exploring your experiences with anxiety;
5. Writing about struggles and successes;
6. Enhancing self-awareness and teaching you about triggers;
7. Tracking your progress as you undergo treatment (Star, 2018).
Through mechanisms like those listed above, journaling has been shown to:
Reduce anxiety in patients with multiple sclerosis (Hasanzadeh, Khoshknab, & Norozi, 2012);
Reduce physical symptoms, health problems, and anxiety in women (LaClaire, 2008);
Help students manage stress and anxiety and improve their engagement and enhance meaning found in the classroom (Flinchbaugh, Moore, Chang, & May, 2012).